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Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Experts Suggest Software Problems, Not Just Demand, May Be Behind Marketplace Glitches

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There were continued widespread reports of consumer frustration with the federal signup process on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

Daniel McNaughton, a 22-year-old college student in Orlando, Fla., tried to enroll Tuesday, just when the marketplace opened for business. He tried three or four times the next day and was finally able to enroll Wednesday morning.

Currently, he has a catastrophic plan that pays for only three doctor visits a year.

On the federal exchange, he picked a gold-level plan, one of the most expensive options, and a premium of $270 per month. But after a large federal subsidy, his contribution will be $70 a month – the same amount that he is currently paying but for much broader coverage.

“I’m thrilled,” he says. “To get something this good at that price?  It was a complete surprise.”

Waiting to sign up until next week or later might be the best idea for many consumers, analysts said.

“It’s not like tickets to a hot concert … You have until Dec 15th,” said Susan M. Nash, a health lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery. “It’s probably better for people to wait to sign up until some of the glitches have been worked out.”

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communications organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Thu, Oct 03 2013

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